One way of looking at the game on Saturday is that even with all our best players in the side, we still would have been hard pressed to get anything out of the game – given how well Manchester City played, so in that sense it was the game to have our best players missing.
Alan Pardew - City were strong on Saturday
The time to have our best players playing is in games we play against the lesser sides, because that tends to maximize the number of points we will get in any season.
And two of those games are upcoming on the next two Sundays against Fulham and Sunderland – and hopefully we’ll have at least some of our best players back.
This is what Alan told reporters about Saturday’s game:
“Even with my best players I think we would have struggled against City,” “They were as strong as I have seen them for a while.” “I felt in the first half that City had an assurance about them that comes from no pressure.”
“We were lucky, I thought, to get to 40 minutes without conceding a goal. We were not as technically good as we have been, and I just wanted to get them in at half-time at 1-0, which if we did we would have had a better second-half.”
“But it’s always difficult at 2-0. We had a good attitude in the opening 10 minutes of the half. We put them under pressure and looked quite good. We needed to nick a goal at that stage, but couldn’t manage it.”
“I don’t think we ever thought we were out of the relegation battle, until you get to 40 points you are never out of it. We haven’t really looked away from that.” “There is nothing I can do about the other results.”
“We have got to our business in the other games coming up, let’s be honest. They are the ones we look forward to now.”
That game on Saturday is history now (thank goodness), and the situation can easily be put right by winning our next two home games – that’s all that really matters now.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org